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432 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 185488 24-Nov-2015 23:06
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Hi - be nice I know next to nothing about woodworking! I'm looking for a Xmas present for my impossible-to-buy-for partner. He's expressed an interest in join-a-jig - which he saw an informercial for. He's interesting in something that he could use to do simple woodworking with e.g. making some built in storage. He's not particularly experienced. 

My experience with infomercial stuff is that it tends to be rubbish -but some googling came up with Kreg Jigs on Amazon - this is the system I'm considering buying him 

Is this enough to get him going? Is the imperial system a problem - ie will local screws and wood sizes work or would we need to buy US-sized screws to work with it? 

Any one  used one - or can recommend an alternative? 

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2763 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1434221 24-Nov-2015 23:28
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I'v never used one but I don't think it will matter if it's imperial. For most holes sizes there are metric equivalents.

As an idea google to see if there are metric versions.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1434223 24-Nov-2015 23:31
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If it helps, they're called "pocket hole jigs"

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1434268 25-Nov-2015 05:13
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The imperial is in the markings for panel thickness. IME its not a big deal since 18mm is 3/4" and its no use on anything thinner.

I've not used mine a great deal but when I have its worked fine.

If you try to use normal countersunk screws in it then you have to drill shallower since the setting on the stopping thing is assuming that you're using their flat bottomed screws. Other than that its easy to drill.

One thing I found is where attaching the items together that it would wander due to the screw trying to start into the second bit of wood on an angle so good clamping was a must.


153 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1434641 25-Nov-2015 16:46
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You can buy them in NZ from Carbatec in Auckland and all the associated screws. They also sell them on Trade Me just search for Kreg.
I suggest buying the screw kit too as gives a good variety to start with. 
The screws are special and can't be bought from your local hardware store, there are different lengths for the material thickness you are joining. However I've seen the 'join a jigs' at Mitre 10 and have been meaning to check if they are stocking the screws. 
I've got a K4 Master System and it's a good little kit. They are brilliant at simplifying wood joints but you have to think where they go as they are ugly to look at. 

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  Reply # 1437426 29-Nov-2015 21:47
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I saw an informercial for the Join-a-Jig the other day, and out of interest did a little more research into them. There seem to be quite a few people that have bought them and had issues with them breaking reasonably quickly, and not holding the wood in place correctly.

Personally, I have had a Kreg K4 for the past couple of years (purchased from Carbatec), and absolutely love it. It works fantastically, is very sturdy, the clamp is great, and I would thoroughly recommend one. The K5 should be even better. :-)

As mentioned, they do have special screws available, but I have been using some from Mitre 10 with no issues for quite some time, so I wouldn't worry about that. All you really need to do is make sure the screws you get aren't countersunk, as that would reduce the effectiveness of the join.

Further, the instructions that come with the jig include measurements for imperial and metric.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1437435 29-Nov-2015 22:10
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Add me to the list of satisfied users - I bought a bunch of the kreg stuff from amazon back when they were doing free shipping to New Zealand (currently you're better buying it from Carbatec), and have definitely got a lot of use out of it. Makes it easy for beginners to do simple joinery stuff as long as he already has a good drill and driver. 

432 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1437441 29-Nov-2015 22:36
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Thanks guys - the Kreg seems to be the way to go! 

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